Writing a resume is not a strength that many pharmacists possess. Although highly educated, pharmacists are traditionally skilled in areas such as chemistry, mathematics and science, and many lack the skill and experience in an area such as writing a great resume. According to a recent study by the ASME, both recruiters and management stated that they see more poorly written resumes submitted by job candidates now than ever before. A poorly written resume will most likely eliminate you from consideration for a job quickly, even if you are perhaps the most qualified candidate.
So for those who are presently researching new potential pharmacy job positions or are actively pursuing a change, here are some resume writing tips to help you create a polished resume that will make you stand out from the other candidates applying for the job you want to get.
Tips For Writing A Superior Resume
Proper Formatting Is Key
These days most resumes are submitted electronically and a majority of potential employers are looking at your resume on their computer screens. So make sure that yours is formatted to look great and be read either on a computer screen or on paper if printed. Additionally, most resumes are “scanned” through first by the hiring manager or recruiter in less than thirty seconds without being thoroughly read, so proper formatting can make all the difference between being initially discarded or making it to the next “round”. Here are some rules that are recommended by professional resume writers regarding proper formatting:
– Try and keep it to just one (1) page. If one page simply will not be enough, never exceed two (2) pages.
– Make it easy for the reader to scan it quickly by using a logical format. Use clear headings, clean type and wide spaced margins.
– Use bullet points and/or italics (or bolding) to draw attention to your major attributes and accomplishments. Make it easy for the reader to quickly see why you are the best choice for the job. But don’t overdo it or you will risk looking amateurish.
Focus on Your Accomplishments
Focusing on your previous job description and job duties can not only make your resume too long, but can also result in it being boring and “just like every other candidate’s” resume. Instead, focus on your accomplishments.
– Keep your previous job duties and job descriptions to a minimum. Make the assumption that the person reading your resume already mostly knows what your duties were at your previous jobs. Include just a line or two and then jump right into what you accomplished.
– Focus on how you made things better for the company at your previous jobs. Show that you were an asset, solved problems and made a difference. That’s what will set you apart from the others. All employers have problems and, although their’s may be a bit different from those at your previous position, being a problem solver, being part of the solution and making a difference is the type of employee that every company wants.
Quantify Your Accomplishments
Although perhaps this is a subset of focusing on your accomplishments that we discussed above, quantifying what you achieved at your previous jobs cannot be stressed enough. Remember that your resume is not just your bio, it is a tool that you need to polish to market yourself and your potential value to an employer.
– Use money as a way to quantify your accomplishments if at all possible. Nothing will get a potential employer’s attention more easily than showing that your actions and initiatives resulted in increased profits or sales, or that your ideas and suggestions resulted in increased efficiency for your previous employer’s operation.
– Sometimes in order to quantify your accomplishments you must work in “reverse”. Take a look backwards at your past jobs and ask yourself what the results for your previous employers would have been if you had not taken an action or not suggested an improvement in their work flow or processes.
Focus On The Last Ten Years
This obviously doesn’t apply to those who have less than ten years of work experience, but can be a critical factor for those of an older demographic. Experts agree that potential employers will primarily focus their attention on just the last ten years of work experience. Changes in just about every facet of the pharmacy profession have in a way made work experience over a decade ago no longer as relevant.
– Don’t specify graduation dates. This is especially true for older candidates that don’t want to be passed over because of their age.
– Keeping your resume to one or two pages will be a challenge if you have had numerous previous jobs during your career. To streamline your resume as discussed above, list any previous jobs that were over 10 years ago, but omit any descriptions and duties to save precious space.
Focus On Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is really the online version of your resume. Having an up-to-date and professional LinkedIn page cannot be stressed enough. Almost every hiring manager and recruiter will immediately go and review your LinkedIn profile. So if you don’t already have one, it’s time that you created one. If you already do have one, perhaps it’s time to update and polish it.
– Make sure that all the information matches. Nothing will raise a “red flag” more quickly than a LinkedIn profile that doesn’t match your “offline” resume.
– Use a professional photographer for your profile picture. Like the old saying goes, you only get one chance at a first impression. Using a photograph that is low quality, out of focus or simply doesn’t make you look your very best should be avoided if at all possible.
– LinkedIn also gives you a way to further display your personal character and community involvement to enhance your value to a potential employer. Joining and participating in groups, displaying your involvement in your community, sharing your interests and following industry leaders and experts are all ways that LinkedIn can be used to show that you are a well rounded individual who would be an asset to their company.
– Consider getting some feedback from a LinkedIn “pro” or expert (if you are not already one yourself). Feedback from a LinkedIn “guru” can make the difference between being seen as an average candidate or a “rock star”.
– Although other Social Media channels (such as Facebook and Twitter) may be important, LinkedIn is by far the one that you should primarily focus your attention on and put your energy into. Additionally, always remember that a potential employer may just take a look at your Facebook or Twitter accounts, so be careful what you post! These days the rule seems to be that “if you don’t want the whole world to see it, don’t post it!”.
Who Do You Know
Now that your resume is finished, it’s time to take action and find the right position. Many people will tell you – “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” that will land you the job that you desire. Networking is a great way to meet potential employers or to meet individuals who can connect you to the right people. Start networking by attending local and state association meetings. Consider going to some national conventions, especially if you are open to a geographical change for your next job.
Perhaps the best choice is to contact a pharmacy staffing agency. Basically, finding the right candidate to fill an open position for an employer is their job. An experienced recruiter knows exactly what jobs are available and what companies are currently looking to hire. A great staffing agency will “market” you and perform most of the time consuming “leg work” required to connect you to the right job and employer.
About HCC Pharmacy Staffing
From major hospitals and healthcare systems to individual community pharmacies, HCC has been the nationally renowned pharmacy staffing agency of choice for over 28 years now. Let an experienced Pharmacy recruitment and permanent placement expert find the right job for you. Pharmacist recruitment, permanent placement and direct hire have been our specialty for over 28 years. HCC has experienced in-house experts whose job is to match the correct pharmacist to the job description requirements and to the employer’s needs in every type of situation. Our placement and recruiting team have experience nationally in all 50 states with all pharmacy job types: retail, hospital, clinical and specialty pharmacies.
Contact us online or call us today at 800-642-1652 to get started in finding your next position.